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Students in a long tail boat in Indonesia. Photo by Aaron Slosberg, Indonesia Semester.

A Train Through The Countryside

Does the sky reflecting in shallow fields of rice patties make your legs weaken and your heart feel like it does when you are taking your time to gaze at the moon?

Does the sunlight chasing shadows across the speckled pools of water make you want to splash and run along side of it until your chest feels on fire?

And, really, I’m wondering if you too had the urge to dip half of your pinky finger into the river so thick and buttery it flowed like milk chocolate?

Being here has brought me back to childhood freedoms. I play soccer with little boys in the shadow of a mosque, laughing at everything simple: tripping, spastically sending the soccer ball in the wrong direction, or 7-year-old boys making theatrical performances of getting the ball to the crotch.

I have the same sense of freedom here when I wake up every day, which is an incredibly precious gift. Today, my only responsibilities are to live, in the most ideal, rare, sought-after and fulfilling sense of the word. To listen with my heart, to relate with full presence, to awaken my mind, to feel alive, to be curious, to be vulnerable, to be silly, to be extraordinarily grateful, and to reflect through moments of discomfort. I have felt profoundly uncomfortable here too. I questioned my decision maybe 100 times in the first day or two. I think that means I’m in the right place.

Love to you all. Always. Thank you for this immeasurable gift,

Lila.